On December 8, 2017 the government of Moldova, an eastern European country of three million inhabitants located between Romania and Ukraine, finally opened a long awaited NATO Liaison Office in Chisinau. NATO Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller and the prime minister of Moldova, Pavel Filip, were present at the occasion. Moldova has been delayed for NATO membership for over two years.
The Prime Minister reconfirmed Moldova’s determination to actively support efforts to promote peace and security in Europe by the participation of the military contingent of Moldova to the NATO-led operation in Kosovo. Deputy Secretary General Gottemoeller has reassured the people of Moldova that “NATO fully respects Moldova’s neutrality, independence, and sovereignty.” The bilateral collaboration will be developed in new areas such as cyber threats, resilience and civil emergency preparedness and will inform the citizens about the benefits of cooperation with the North Atlantic Block. Further, NATO will provide support for the training of almost 2,000 Moldovans in areas such as fighting corruption in the defense sector, border security and civil emergency planning, as well as initiatives to help Moldova destroy dangerous stocks of pesticides, anti-personnel mines, surplus munitions and rocket fuel, which have received 4.5 million Euro from the Alliance. Basically an assistance institution, the centre had been opened at a request by the Moldovan cabinet. It is not a military base made on the model of the offices opened in other neutral states.